The Creature Walks Among Us (1956) Movie Script

- Mrs. Barton?
- Why, yes.
You're the guide, Mr. Grant.
No, he's Grant.
Hi. I'm Tom Morgan.
Oh, you're Dr. Morgan?
And Dr. Borg.
How do you do, Mrs. Barton?
Morgan, genetics.
Borg, roentgenology.
Johnson, biochemistry.
Johnson's in the lab.
You see, my husband never
gave faces to any of you,
just name and occupation.
Well, that's the way most medical
men describe most medical men.
But he didn't
say much about you.
I guess your field isn't medicine.
Only through marriage.
Oh, Dr. Barton. Dr. Morgan.
Dr. Barton. Dr. Borg.
You met Mrs. Barton.
I had some difficulty
persuading her to come along.
She felt she might be in the way.
Not at all, doctor.
Would you like to go to
your cabin, Mrs. Barton?
Thank you.
Is the lab ready, Dr. Morgan?
Everything's all ready for me.
My equipment's all set up.
But I think you better check to see
that everything you want is there.
Dr. Barton, sir?
Good morning, captain.
Whenever you're ready
to cast off, sir.
Thank you. Stand by.
Now let's take a look
at the lab, Dr. Morgan.
Hello, Dr. Barton. Johnson.
Dr. Johnson.
Very good!
Very good, indeed, Dr. Morgan.
I had no idea you could arrange
surgical instruments this well.
Well, genetics may be my
specialty, but I'm also a doctor.
I didn't mean to offend.
It's just unusual these days
to find such fidelity
to doing things exactly right.
Well, thank you.
But it's unfortunate
that Mr. Grant
couldn't tell us the exact location
of what we're looking for.
I told you it was
in the everglades.
I'll get you close enough.
The rest'll be up to you.
Dr. Morgan, have you explained to
Grant the technique we intend to use?
Not yet.
The big trick will be to
maneuver him to still water,
where this liquid rotonone compound,
when spread under pressure,
can anesthetize him
in a matter of seconds,
providing, of course, we can
give him a concentrated dose.
Well, don't look so doubtful, Grant.
It's worked before.
You know, gentlemen, I've seen
the drug used by the natives
to catch fish up the Amazon.
But I'll have to
see this first to believe
it'll knock out 300 pounds of the
Dr. Barton speaking.
ready and secured, sir.
All right, captain.
Get underway.
That was a school of barracuda.
Their length, as you know, varies
from five to five-and-a-half feet.
Is this gadget your idea, doc?
Not exactly.
Similar machines are being manufactured
by a few of the big electronic firms.
Works like the sonar device
that the commercial fishing outfits
use to spot schools of fish.
Most of
the Scandinavian countries,
New England,
California fishing operations,
they all use them.
The electronic waves move
to the object in the water
and bounce back.
The time-lapse between sending and
receiving gives us the distance.
Takes all the kick out of fishing if you
know what's there in the water.
On this particular trip, we'd
better know what's in the water.
And we will because these devices
also reveal the exact specie of fish.
You see those new,
slightly arced lines?
Giant Rock Lobster.
Of course, we can't be sure just what
sort of image we'll get on the scope
when we find
what we're looking for.
However, we can
make an educated guess.
Grant, put on the lights, please.
Excuse me. Of course.
The thicker the mass, the lighter
the image on the screen.
Based on information from
Ocean Harbor in Florida,
the length of the creature
on the screen should be
about half a centimeter more than
that of the average male adult.
What was that?
Shark. Got two of them.
They were after
a school of porpoise.
Well, that's pretty good
But not good hunting.
There's no risk involved.
I've hunted all over the world.
Any time you wanna match me...
Marcia, dear,
this is one hunting trip
where, unfortunately, you'll have to be
more of a spectator than a participant.
Dr. Barton? Yes.
We'll be dropping anchor
in a few minutes, sir.
Oh, fine.
Your husband must be
an awfully good surgeon.
I mean, awfully rich.
Because he's financing this?
Oh, no.
Even a beach bum like me knows it's
deductible from his income tax.
I mean, awfully rich to be able
to afford everything he owns.
Anybody home?
Senor Grant, welcome.
Morteno, my friend.
Thank you for
the food, the money.
Oh, that's all right.
Glad to do it.
Now, listen, Morteno, these
gentlemen are my friends.
I want you to tell Dr. Barton here
the story of how you were hurt.
These men are going to
help me catch him.
When did the creature
attack you?
How? Where?
I am in everglades to shoot
alligators to get skins.
I sell senor Grant, who buys for men
who make belts and shoes in city.
One day, after long hunt,
I shoot something near me.
And it raise up and grab my gun!
It looked like devil,
fighting me.
I take my knife. I fight back.
I cut him good.
There was plenty blood.
Then devil go away,
and I not remember more
till people
from village find me.
When I wake up, I am cripple,
face torn.
My village try to hunt it down,
but it is smart.
Not like man. Smart like devil!
Well, that's the story,
Now, the last place he was
seen was off the coast.
I'll take you there.
Morteno, where is the knife that
you used to fight this devil?
May I have a look?
What about it,
The red corpuscle count checks
with the Ocean Harbor figures.
Halfway between
the count in mammals
and marine-life vertebrae.
Nature moving out
of one phase into another.
Are the corpuscles beveled? No.
Then the blood type is of a
marine-life animal, right, Johnson?
Except there's no nucleus
to each corpuscle.
Gentlemen, the creature
can be changed.
We can make the giant step and bring
a new species into existence.
- No.
- Why?
Because it hasn't been done?
Listen, we can create
an entirely new form of life.
We can change the blood texture,
build up the red corpuscle count.
Then the gene structure
has to be affected.
I didn't know you wanted
that kind of an experiment.
I thought we were
only going to subject him
to study under
more controlled conditions.
But there'll never be
another chance like this.
I've seen the imperfections
of the human body.
A surgeon sees them and knows.
Modern man is limited,
earthbound to this planet,
which he devours
and eventually which will
fail to support him.
Yet, he's bound to it because
he's physically incapable
of taking the next giant step
into outer space.
Well, we can make him
physically capable.
I disagree.
We can learn from nature,
help nature.
We can make this earth
a happier place
by helping nature select
what's best in us.
And when man's ready,
mentally, physically,
he'll get to outer space.
But, doctor,
there's no shortcut.
You can't bypass nature.
Perhaps you're afraid to!
If you are,
I could take you all back
and assemble a new group.
No, I'm staying.
I want to know for myself.
I do, too.
Can I talk to you
on this throat mic?
No, but we can talk to Dr. Borg.
Of course,
he can talk to both of us.
Remember, you locate
your position,
and be sure of your approximate
distance from any object.
I'll call down my identification.
You verify.
Hey! You gonna wait for me?
Oh, this dive is to test
the equipment, dear.
You'll have to wait
for some other time.
We might go deep. Fifty feet?
This might be 150 feet.
The worst that can happen is that I
won't like it, and my ears will hurt.
The worst that could happen is that
you might get deep-diving sickness.
They call it
"raptures of the deep."
Like getting drunk on water
pressure instead of champagne,
and you try to give your diving
equipment to a passing fish?
Well, I never get drunk.
I always know
when I've had enough.
Oh, what's the harm?
We'll take care of her.
I told you, no.
Well, I'm tired
of just sitting around.
That's fine. I've got it.
Thank you.
Anybody gonna join me?
Here. You better use
one of these, too.
I don't need a gadget
to tell me how deep to go.
I know myself.
Well, if you're wrong,
it won't be the first time,
but it'll be the last.
All right, Borg. Let's
pick them up on the scope.
There they are.
- Do you check me?
- I check you.
What's that?
Check to the right by 20 feet.
A tarpon weighing
approximately 100 pounds.
It was a tarpon.
Approximate distance correct.
Well, we're going deeper.
Check me.
Directly below you,
a grouper fish or a large manta.
Check. A fish
directly below us and moving out.
He's still there.
No. No, he isn't.
I can see him moving up
and going off to the right.
The fish is out of the
picture, but there's another image.
The density has changed
What is it?
I can't...
There's nothing visible
from here. We're going deeper.
The image is moving with you.
The object is moving down.
The image is off the screen.
Something's blocking it from view.
Two hundred and ten feet.
Probably a rock shelf.
What happened, Morgan?
She went too deep.
I'm all right.
How is she? No harm done.
No thanks to you, Grant.
Well, you've had quite a bit
of excitement, you three.
The image, Morgan, the big
object, did you see it?
It's him, all right.
It's your creature, Dr. Barton.
You found him!
Well, you came
through for me, Grant.
Now, gentleman,
I guess the rest is up to us.
The creature isn't going to be
easy to capture. Not anymore.
It knows how to fight us.
So there's nothing to do for
the moment, except wait.
And hope we can
keep track of him.
We'll all have to be
armed from now on.
Yes, we'd better.
I'm sorry I made
so much trouble.
You're a very brave woman. You
shouldn't take such chances.
You know, taking chances
isn't just a man's privilege.
But trying to kill oneself
isn't either.
You take risks.
I take calculated risks
for a purpose.
But what are you
trying to prove?
I should have known. You're a scientist.
You need proof.
You never take
anyone's word for anything.
I deserve that.
Forgive me.
If there's anything I can do...
No, there's nothing
anyone can do.
Ten years ago, when I was 17,
when Dr. Barton married me, I...
I'm really feeling sorry
for myself now, aren't I?
Look, I managed
to learn a few things.
At least I know what the world
under the sea looks like.
It can be very beautiful.
Pardon me, ma'am, but I
have to prepare for dinner.
Well, I have some work to do.
Excuse me, Mrs. Barton.
You were with Dr. Morgan
for quite a long time.
Please don't start again, Bill.
Don't start accusing me of...
You're my wife, Marcia.
Conduct yourself that way.
I always have, Bill.
I don't know any other way.
Don't ever try to leave me.
Don't ever try to
make a fool of me.
Dr. Johnson, what's
your reading now?
The image is
about 30 feet ahead of us.
Veering 20 degrees left.
Veering 20 degrees left.
We're getting into shallow water.
I don't like it.
We can still go
a long ways upstream.
We'll get him this time.
He's boxing himself
into a corner.
Could be the other way around.
Not a chance.
He knows his way
around places like this.
He's dropping back of us.
Dr. Johnson,
what's your reading now?
About 30 feet astern.
But he seems to be holding his
position at that distance.
He's following us.
He's stalking us now.
Captain, increase the speed.
The image is dropping back.
Now it seems to be
moving forward.
He's following us
at the same distance again.
He's following us
at the same distance again.
That doesn't seem possible.
The lion, the wolf, the shark, they
stalk and wait for their kill.
They sense when a victim
is coming into a trap.
Now why wouldn't he? He's more
than cunning. He reasons.
Well, I'm not going into a trap.
You'll take him alive.
If he lets us.
But if he gets too close, I'm not
going to argue.
I'll kill him.
When do you think he'll attack?
I don't know.
But he led us into this river.
Probably when we can't
move forward any further.
This is far as we can go.
Drop anchor.
Now, we'll wait for him.
What do you think, Dr. Morgan?
Well, it's apparent he doesn't
intend to attack on our terms.
Well, we have to
go after him on his.
We'll take the viewer
with us, Borg.
Johnson, lower the range
finder into the water.
Grant, are your spears checked?
There's enough sleep juice in one of
these things to knock out an elephant.
Well, the Rotonone checks out.
We'd better review procedure.
If he comes
within toxic distance,
Dr. Barton will signal me, and
I'll discharge the Rotonone.
If he comes aboard, Grant will
try to get him with a spear.
And Grant, remember,
the object is to capture him,
not to kill him.
So much as you might be tempted,
try not to hit a vital area.
And as far as using the guns,
if we have to, we'll be
defeating our own purpose.
So I guess that's it.
He's moving ahead of us.
What was that?
Turn a bit to the left.
No, farther.
He's making a full turn!
Grant, get the torches out. We've
got to have some light here.
I think they're dry. Let me have them.
I'll fill them with gasoline.
Borg, you see anything?
No, not yet.
Be on the lookout.
Twenty feet ahead.
He's coming at us.
What are you shooting at,
you fool? I want him alive!
Look to the right.
He's at the right.
Look out, Morgan!
He's coming at you!
Behind you, Morgan!
Another one, Grant!
Are you all right?
I'm all right.
I just hit my head
against something.
Look out! Look out!
Drug knocked him out, all right.
If it hadn't, the fire would've.
These are third-degree burns. We'd
better get the boat over here.
Bring the boat.
He isn't converting
enough air into oxygen.
If only we could reopen the gills
and immerse them in water.
No, the gills
are too badly burnt.
He's dying of suffocation.
But so slowly. He's getting a
small air supply from some area.
We were right. There is a
perfect lung formation.
It shows much darker
than average.
They could be
partially collapsed.
What's that light patch
at the opening to the lungs?
Not a typical human formation.
Some African lungfish
use gills in rainy season,
and when the lakes dry up,
their lungs open on reflex.
A flap pulls back to let air in.
He's getting very little oxygen.
We've got to get those lungs
inflated and working again.
We'll do a tracheotomy
Respiration falling.
Increase the oxygen.
Now the tracheotomy tube.
We are changing a sea creature
into a land creature.
We only use what nature offered.
The lungs were there.
We didn't make them.
You'll see, Dr. Morgan.
Just don't move too fast,
trying to change him.
Are you afraid
of unknown things?
I'm only afraid of misusing
what I do know.
Move him.
And administer a sedative.
What was the last reading?
I'm taking one more.
Here's the reading.
The charting hasn't varied much.
This gap here and here, they show
a disconnected thought process.
He had a critically low supply of oxygen
to the brain for more than an hour.
It could've caused
permanent injury.
Ready for a reading.
The metabolism rate
shows several sharp changes.
It was the method of breathing!
By opening the lungs.
We should have known. The step
from fish to amphibian to mammal,
it had to be the method
of converting oxygen.
Take a look at the eyes.
It's a basic mutation.
A major change.
That is correct.
Please send the following wire
to Mr. Edward Brown,
foreman, Barton Ranch,
Sausalito, California.
"Going through canal tomorrow.
"Arrival estimated
on or about August 20th.
"All fences and equipment
must be ready.
"Hire extra men if necessary.
Will need large truck.
"Signed, William Barton."
Thank you.
Am I disturbing you?
Oh, no, Mrs. Barton.
Would it be possible for me to see the...
Oh, I'm sorry.
I'd like to let you
into the room,
but your husband
doesn't think it's advisable.
My husband doesn't think very much
is advisable, except his work.
How's it coming?
Hasn't he told you?
No. Not much of anything lately.
Excuse me.
We're taking
the bandages off today.
Excuse me.
Is that all you do is talk?
No, I like to swim, too.
Doctor, look.
The other one.
Dr. Borg, raise the head.
There it is, doctor.
The fire burned away
the outer scale.
There's a structure
of human skin underneath it.
Two separate coverings, the
way he had lungs and gills.
His sensitivity to pain
is increasing.
He needs some outer protection.
Some clothing that will...
It's taking effect.
You'd better prepare
another dose.
Well, Tom, I think this calls
for a celebration.
Oh, what about the clothing?
Well, we'll let Grant and the
ship hands take care of that.
He's under sedation.
Where is Grant? Grant!
Where were you?
What do you mean, where was I?
You didn't need me. You and the
other doctors were with him.
I went on deck for a second.
Well, never mind. I've got
some work for you to do.
Get down to the locker
and get some sail cloth.
Let's see if you're
up on your needlework.
Clothing for the creature.
That was the
point of the whole story
I missed it
You did?
Oh, no more, thanks. You're
trying to get me drunk.
No, I've had my quota, thanks.
Are you sure?
I'm sure. All right.
Oh, come now, gentleman. A
celebration isn't a celebration
if you use such self-control.
But I'll admit it takes a lot of
this stuff to even slow me down.
How about you? No, thanks.
You know, Tom, alcohol hits
some people faster than others
because of metabolism, rate of
absorption, and, well, you know...
Change metabolism and maybe...
Maybe eliminate drunk drivers.
Well, it's not bad for me,
Marcia, is it?
We don't have much laughter
anymore, do we, Marcia?
Tom. We found the secret.
Change the metabolism,
and man will change.
The demonstrable scientific
fact is in that cabin.
Well, I'd, uh, rather not
argue the point now, doctor.
Let's take it up
some other time.
After all,
a celebration isn't...
Don't be condescending, doctor.
If I can discuss I,
don't you evade it.
All right.
As a geneticist, I know,
the way any geneticist does,
that nature hasn't created
a new major type of animal
on this earth for over 400 million years.
The creature's a different
major type. You saw it yourself.
It's the interaction
of heredity and environment
for millions of years
that makes a new species.
We only changed the skin,
doctor, not the animal.
But we can bring out the best
or worst in any living thing.
Environment does that.
If it threatens him, if he's afraid of
us, he'll revert to the wanton killer.
That's why I've
gone along with you.
'Cause I wanna know for myself.
'Cause we all stand between
the jungle and the stars,
at a crossroads.
I think we better discover what
brings out the best in humankind
and what brings out the worst
because it's the stars
or the jungle.
Well, good night, gentlemen,
Mrs. Barton.
Doctor. Good night.
How is he? I don't know.
Take a look.
Good night, Grant. Good night.
I guess I'll turn in, too.
Do you agree with Dr. Morgan?
It can still go either way.
And you, doctor?
I don't know yet.
Good night. Good night.
Good night.
Jungle or the stars.
The fools.
Can't they see
I want to catch a star?
Such a good wife.
Such a dutiful wife.
You straighten up after parties,
and drinks serve...
Serve drinks.
You're such a fine wife.
Bill, please.
Please, what?
Please trust you?
Don't, Marcia.
You're worthless, useless!
You know, the more reason
you've got to be friendly,
the less friendly you get.
You have a vivid imagination,
Mr. Grant.
Just because I haven't spoken
to my husband about you...
Oh, come on, Marcia,
let's be friends, huh?
Being a friend of yours isn't
going to solve my problems.
Can't you understand that?
No. Tell me again.
Please! Will you stop?
They'll hear us.
Okay, then,
tell me quietly.
Go away!
Let me go, will you?
Grant, please let me go!
Please stop, Grant!
Please, let me go!
Let go!
Johnson, call the bridge!
Tell them reverse engines
and stand by!
Grant, you all right?
Why weren't you at the door?
He's going to jump.
He'll die underwater. He'll use
his lungs, and he'll drown.
I'll use the hose, Grant.
Give me plenty of oxygen.
Follow them on the scope, Borg.
The spaces here
are the ones to watch.
This is the first reading
we took.
The spaces between each
peak are narrower.
Much narrower.
The block to his
memory is lifting.
You see? He isn't reverting.
He isn't reverting.
He's remembering.
To what degree?
All he remembers is that he
was part of the water once,
and he went back to it.
That's all.
He remembers
being attacked by us.
He remembers fear.
And when he's afraid,
he tries to kill
anything near him,
animal or human.
Stand clear.
You think of everything,
don't you, doctor?
Yes. Let's go in.
Please do as I say, Marcia.
Go back to your room.
I don't want to stay...
I'm not going to have you
parading around here in front
of a gang of men! You hear me?
Do you mind if I take the car
and drive into San Francisco and...
Will discuss it later!
Perhaps, if I can find the time,
I'll take you for a drive myself.
But until then, you're to do as I say.
Now go into the house!
Sorry to have kept you waiting.
This is a two-way mirror.
We can see him,
but he can't see us.
He hears the water,
but he doesn't remember it.
He doesn't even know that,
if he returned to the water,
he'd drown.
His gills may grow back.
His features, his skin, they're
more like a human's every day.
He's even lost
the need for violence.
Because we've
treated him kindly.
The change is biological,
not psychological.
Forget the technical terms, doctor.
It's kindness, not pain.
You mean he returns
kindness with kindness?
I believe it.
Do you think that's
always true, doctor?
Do you think that if I give kindness,
I can always get kindness in return?
How do you mean?
Oh, come, come, Dr. Morgan.
You're a very perceptive man.
I'd rather not talk about it.
It isn't any of my business.
Then, clinically, as a scientist,
you should be interested.
Imagine how often love
is returned with hate,
and loyalty is returned
with infidelity.
Is that a proven fact?
Oh, facts, Dr. Morgan.
I only deal in facts,
in reality, only that.
We make our own reality
The facts are that,
when love is returned with hate,
loyalty is returned
with infidelity,
how long does it take before
something has to be done about it?
Like what?
What do you mean?
Since we're talking
about people...
Are we, doctor?
I thought we were talking about
animals, about the creature.
All right, about the creature.
If he thinks all men
are his enemy,
if he can't see things the way they are
instead of the way he thinks they are,
he lives in terrible fear.
He's only an animal.
The same holds true for man.
If man or animal becomes
too terrified to think,
he resorts to violence.
And in the animal world, it's
called the law of the jungle.
But when it happens
to human beings,
Its name is murder.
That's very nice. Thank you.
I didn't know
you could play the guitar.
Well, I... I used to.
When you had more reason?
What is it?
Your husband,
he's a very brilliant man.
I'm sure you know that. Yes.
But he's a deeply...
I believe the clinical
definition is a "disturbed" man.
I tried to tell you.
I don't know what all my motives
are for telling you this,
but your husband needs help.
He isn't the kind that accepts help
because he never admits he's wrong.
Besides, what can I do?
You're his wife.
It would take
a great deal of courage.
Maybe just patience.
No, Dr. Morgan, courage.
And I don't have
that kind of courage anymore.
Swimming is wonderful.
Someone once said it was...
It was like being born again.
I can understand why the creature
never wanted to leave the water.
We all have to
leave the past sometime
if life is going
to mean anything.
Maybe it's too late to leave it
for some people.
As a matter of fact, I think
I'll take a swim right now.
Well, be careful, Marcia.
What were you talking
to Morgan about?
Excuse me.
What were you talking about?
Please, you're hurting me.
I have a right to ask these questions.
I'm your husband.
I'm going swimming.
You've become
a cheap little tramp.
Only to you, Bill.
Only to you.
Two minds with a single thought.
Uh, swimming, I mean.
Go away.
I thought you liked company.
Not yours.
How can you tell?
We're just getting
to know each other.
What was it, Morgan?
I don't know.
I thought I heard a bobcat.
A mountain lion's more like it.
This is his first act of
violence since we captured him.
Yes, first killing.
We'll have to get those dead
animals out of his sight.
The creature is what he was.
I don't think he reverted.
I think he killed the lion
defending himself.
Get up!
Pack your clothes and get out!
Okay, but I'll leave
in the morning. Now!
Or I'll have you thrown out!
Hurry up!
What's bothering you, doc?
Your wife?
Get out!
Oh, it must be your wife, doc.
Shut up and get out.
But it could've been any guy
she'd get friendly with.
She hates you that much.
Oh, no!
Well, our experiment's over,
and it's failed.
The beast remains a beast.
I don't think so.
The creature moved
a step forward.
He didn't attack
until he was attacked.
He killed a real enemy.
And Barton?
Well, he killed an enemy
of his own creation.
The whole world was his enemy.
We're not so far
from the jungle after all.
We're not so far
from the stars, either.
I guess the way we go depends
upon what we're willing to
understand about ourselves.
And willing to admit.
Goodbye, Dr. Johnson. Goodbye.
Dr. Borg, thank you
for everything.
Mrs. Barton.
Are you ready to leave?
Yes. The officer's
taking me to the train.
We'll arrange everything here.
Will I see you again?
Yes, of course.
Got it.
There's an all-points
call out on him.
They sighted him five miles west
of here, heading for the coast.